Cullowhee, N.C. - Freshman Adam Sledd led three Catamounts in double figures with his first career double-double on Thursday night, but a late Western Carolina scoring drought allowed the College of Charleston to pull away for a 77-59 nonconference victory at the Ramsey Center.
Sledd scored a career-high 14 points including nine after intermission and pulled down a career-best 12 rebounds for the Purple & Gold. Sophomore Mark Gosselin scored all 13 of his points before halftime, just missing a double-double with nine boards and a blocked shot, and junior Ashley Williams raised his career-high for a second-straight game with 12 points off the bench for WCU.
Redshirt junior Haboubacar Mutombo just missed double figures with eight points and six boards while also dishing out three assists.
Mutombo connected on a jumper to cap a 9-to-2 spurt by the home squad that halved CofC's 14-point second half to 62-55 with six and a half minutes to play in regulation. However, the Catamounts went ice cold from the floor, scoring just four points on a pair of Yalim Olcay free throws and a late steal and lay-up by Onno Steger as the Cougars finished the game on a 15-to-4 run in the winning effort.
WCU (4-8) finished just 1-for-9 from the field and 2-of-5 from the free throw line over the last six and a half minutes in the loss.
College of Charleston (9-4) shot just below 50-percent from the field on Thursday night, connecting on 22-of-45 field goals including 10 3-pointers. Joe Chealey paced the Cougars with 18 points including three, 3-pointers and seven points from the free throw line. Jarrell Brantley finished with 17 points, nine from beyond the arc, while Grant Riller scored 10 points and passed out four assists.
The Cougars erased WCU's lone advantage of the night with a 17-to-2 run to grab a 13-point first half lead seven minutes into the contest. Behind Gosselin, though, the Catamounts counterpunched, chipping away at the CofC lead to pull to within three, 29-26, with 3:20 showing before the half.
Charleston drained three, 3-pointers as a part of an 11-to-4 run to close the half, carrying a 10-point, 40-30, lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the Cougars used timely scoring to keep the Catamounts at arm's length. WCU mounted its first surge with a seven-point swing including five points by Williams to pull to within five, 51-46, at the 12:48 mark. But nine-straight points by the Cougars stretched the margin back to double digits. WCU's second comeback rally started with 10 and a half minutes to play before the lengthy scoring drought.
Western Carolina returns to action at home on Wednesday, Dec. 28 with a special 2:00 pm tip-off against mountain-foe, Mars Hill.